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Article updated: 2/1/2013 11:43 PM

Wedding crasher sentenced to six years for sex crimes

By Justin Kmitch

A 31-year-old Virginia man who was convicted of crashing an Elmhurst wedding reception and trying to sexually assault a 7-year-old girl was sentenced Friday to six years in prison.

Priyang Parikh, of Alexandria, Va., was convicted in October of attempted predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Parikh flew to Chicago the weekend before the reception in September 2010. His attorneys acknowledged he was not invited to the 500-guest gala, but maintained Parikh did have another wedding in the area to attend.

Prosecutors said Parikh searched out children to abuse while clapping along with the crowd and talking into his cellphone as if he were preoccupied. He eventually found a group of unattended children playing tag in a hallway outside the main reception area and had them form a line to receive lollipops.

The first girl in line -- a 7-year-old -- was taken into a nearby breakfast room with no video surveillance. That's where Parikh told her to open her mouth and close her eyes, then dropped his pants and underwear to his ankles, according to testimony.

Surveillance footage captured Parikh running from the building seconds later with several children chasing after him as he tried to hold up his pants.

Judge Kathryn Creswell sentenced Parikh to six years on the attempted predatory criminal sexual assault of a child charge, and to a concurrent three-year sentence for sexual exploitation of a child.

Prior to being sentenced, Parikh apologized to his family and the victim's family as he sought mercy from Creswell.

DuPage County state's attorney's spokesman Paul Darrah said Parikh will receive credit for the roughly two and a half months he has been in custody and could potentially serve half of the six-year sentence for good behavior.

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